In the General Conference of April 2004, Elder Robert D. Hales shared a message entitled “With All the Feeling of a Tender Parent: A Message of Hope to Families”. In that talk he shared five important elements of parenting that he believed will assist us in strengthening our families. Today I am sharing the third element.
“With the door to our hearts open, we should learn how to liken the scriptures to our lives.
“We often talk about teaching our children from the scriptures, but how do we do that?
Several years ago I was teaching our young son about the life and experiences of the brother of Jared. Although the story was very interesting, he was not engaged. I then asked what the story meant to him personally. It means so much when we ask our children, “What does it mean to you?” He said, “You know, it’s not that different from what Joseph Smith did in the grove when he prayed and got an answer.”
I said, “You’re about Joseph’s age. Do you think a prayer like his would be helpful to you?” Suddenly, we weren’t talking about a long-ago story in a faraway land. We were talking about our son—about his life, his needs, and the way prayer could help him.
“As parents, we have the responsibility to help our children to “liken all scriptures [indeed, every part of the gospel of Jesus Christ] unto us [and unto our children], … for [the] profit and learning [of our families].” 14
“Are we likening all of our children’s gospel experiences to the real needs in their lives? Are we teaching them about the gift of the Holy Ghost, repentance, the Atonement, the sacrament, and the blessing of sacrament meeting as they meet the challenges in their lives? There is not enough time in formal meetings to teach our children everything they need to know.”